Long term relationships are ____________*.

I grew up riding horses.  I can’t remember a second of my life not being obsessed with those animals.  I like to joke that it’s my grandmother’s fault for buying me a little stuffed horse for me before I was born, but who knows?  Maybe it’s just in my genes.

When I was ten, my dreams finally came true and I started taking English riding lessons at a nearby barn and I’ll never forget my first lesson horse, Rio.  Rio was a bay Arabian and calm enough, but I was warned that he would take advantage of me at the first opportunity.  He’d stomp his feet as I groomed him, lean into me and try to pin me against a wall, go from a trot to a walk if I didn’t stay on him.

I soon outgrew that barn and moved to a 5000 acre mountain top ranch with 50 lesson horses at my disposal.  I spent the next 7 years’ worth of weekends working on that ranch.  I ate my lunch in the hay barn 25 feet high surrounded by the sweet smell of hay and alfalfa, I swam with horses in the pond on the cross country course, I watched Olympian Mike Plumb give clinics — I even rode for him once!, I groomed hundreds of animals, tacked them up and got them ready for their lessons, I watched polo games and couriered for events before there were fancy gizmos.  I learned to be tough, expect the unexpected, and to be the boss.

There wasn’t one horse there, no matter how well-schooled, that wouldn’t try to remind you in some way that the agreement we had required constant attention.  The human was the boss, but the horse was letting you take charge.

Long term relationships aren’t unlike that horse-human relationship.  The horse may have been tamed, but it remains persnickety; it will run you into a tree given the first opportunity.  And if you think it won’t, well, you’re a goddamned idiot.

That’s what’s recently happened with The Neighbor and me.  We forgot to pay attention and we got scraped off by a branch.  The Resentment and Boredom Branch.  At least, I did.

It just all seemed so easy.  There’s no more cloak and dagger, defiance and denial.  Even a year ago and I was wrestling with what to reveal and how to proceed.  It was equal parts exhausting and exciting, and I had to do a lot of work.  But I loved the challenge.

These days, excitement lies in hitting my budget, not in getting laid.

We love each other, he takes care of me, and we are slowly venturing towards a little threesome as I let my guard down about allowing him closer to Peyton.  It’s all wonderful wonderful wonderful.

I don’t long for chaos or drama, but there was energy there.  Spikes of passion and feelings.  TN recently started a new job and he adores it.  I don’t exactly adore the 70+  hours he’s pouring into it, but I want to support him, so I’m not bitching.

However, should I worry that in the last several weeks, we’ve gone from having sex three times a week to once a week?  I’m too tired, he’s too tired, we connect in different ways BECAUSE WE LOVE EACH OTHER and then we sleep.

And when we do do it, it’s the same routine.  He gets hard, I spread my legs, he kills me, we stop.  We rarely change positions anymore, but I can’t tell if that’s a problem, because it’s all so easy.  Plus, we’re having sex, it’s just tired-people-sex, not jungle-monkey sex.

Our horse plods along even as I struggle with feelings of boredom and fear that we, as I loved us, are over.

Then, we got a slap on the rear: TN and I butted heads.

I ran out of my birth control pills and had a week to refill them after knowing I had 2 months to get all my ducks in a row.  I needed to make some phone calls and switch over to my Obamacare, etc., but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  So we were birth control free for two blissful weeks.

Too bad those two responsibility-free weeks were marred by the The Neighbor bitching and moaning about having to wear a “hefty bag” on his dick.

I wanted to kill him.

Things came to a head the other day when, after another 12 hour day, he came over to hang out.  We watched Game of Thrones and went to cuddle.  He asked if I’d gotten my pills yet.  I said, “No, and so it’ll likely be another two weeks.”

He was incredulous and couldn’t understand why I hadn’t “just done it.”  Wasn’t it a priority for me?  I explained to him that I’d been busy — which was true — but I failed completely at describing the level of irritation, almost animosity, I feel at taking that goddamned pill every fucking day.

I told him it was also good for me to be off of it for a little while; being on it for more than 10 years increases health risks for women. He didn’t believe me and kept repeating that he “just didn’t get it.”  My heart began to beat faster as I laid next to him wondering what the fuck was happening.

“You go buy some fucking Tic Tacs,” I said, “and after taking them around the same time every day for 3 years, let’s talk.”

Then, he said with a distant look in his eye, “I don’t even know why we’re arguing.  I checked out of this conversation six minutes ago.”

I hit the roof, thanked him for also being condescending as well as a giant baby about using condoms, and continued to argue my case.

We managed to wriggle out from under that one without too much trouble that night, but the next day I spent a good 3 hours of my life on the phone and driving all over town trying to get birth control (which I did), but I was mad about it.  Poor baby, can’t wear a fucking “hefty bag” on his dick to give me a goddamned break for a while.  And it’s not like the guy even cums anyway!! I thought angrily.

Pills finally in hand I told him of my travails.  He congratulated me, genuinely, but didn’t thank me.  I lugged around resentment the rest of the day wondering what had happened to the old TN and Hy.  The ones who didn’t taste the bitterness of resentment, that is.

That night he came over and as we lay together in bed we began to talk about our day.

When it was my turn, I very matter of factly said, “Look, I really need for you to say ‘Thanks, Hy for going to all that trouble to get the pills!’ because it isn’t just about losing a day to phone calls and errands.  I carry all of the responsibility for us not getting pregnant.  It fucks with my hormones if I miss a day and it’s $30 out of my pocket a month, which isn’t a lot, I know, but it’s a lot to me.  And there you were complaining about wearing condoms –”

He stopped me there and apologized profusely for being a jerk, for the unfairness of it all, and for all the work and money I have to put into keeping up this form of birth control which I do for us.

I felt my resentment and anger zip out of me like air from a balloon.  And, just like that, I was energized and perky.  AND HORNY.

I was almost as shocked at my ardor as I was at his apology.

But that had been a challenge!  We’d mentally sparred and parried.  We’d had to work at something to get back on track.  Woohoo!  Let’s fucking fuck, buddy!  Giddy-up!

I sensed a similar change in TN.  It was a Tuesday night, another end to another 12 hour day and he should be drained, but he was buzzing instead, like me.

I stroked his beard and looked at him lovingly, openly.  He stared back at me and we kissed.

I dropped my hand to his bulge.  It was hard. He peeled back the covers and ran his hand from my knee to the top of my thigh and sneaked his fingers under my purple, polka-dot jammy shorts.

His eyes widened when he realized I wasn’t wearing panties, and his fingers moved the plump skin apart and slipped inside. I was wet and felt jolts of excitement, like a long lost memory.  He wasn’t going to just spread my knees and push himself inside of me like we’ve been doing!  He was starting a different kind of dance.

I closed my eyes and threw my head back as his hand slammed into me and I poured myself into his cupped hand.  He kissed my neck and suckled on my breast through my white t-shirt.  I came again.

“Wow,” he said, “I haven’t fingered you in forever!”  I only nodded, but wanted to shout, “I KNOW!!”

He pulled away then and removed his clothes and came back and roughly removed my shorts and spread my knees as he positioned himself between them.  He already had a condom on, the sneaky boy.

I smiled at his caution and pulled off my own shirt.  The bedside light lit us up as if we were just reading books, but instead he filled me up with his cock, not words.

He moved into me until I could feel him in my throat.  I moaned and cried and squealed and laughed when he put a pillow over my face.  I giggled and sobbed into it and threw it off of me me determined to be quieter.

I grabbed his sides, clutched his muscles, hooked his haunches, lunged against him with all my might.

He kissed my collar bone and neck, behind my ear and my open, panting mouth.  He blocked out the reading light somehow and became the sun.

I spun away with him as he hitched my ankle up, then down, then on my side for a minute.  Finally, he was spent and we lay still, spooning.

I felt as though we had done more than copulate.  We’d recalibrated.  Perhaps TN and Hy need to be challenged more and we’d forgotten about that.

We got tired, settled into a routine, we forgot to be empathetic.  Maybe we’re the horse and not the rider and we needed to remind ourselves of who’s in charge.  Neither of us.

He kissed me and disengaged and came to lay on my other side.  I got my little pink vibrator and asked him to masturbate for me.  He lay on his back and tugged and pulled on his erection as I watched and listened to him.  fap fap fap fap 

My own orgasm was tricky, but reliable, and finally swelled around me after he abandoned his own stroking to squeeze my breast and kiss me deeply and wetly instead.

His soft, hot tongue juxtaposed against his scratchy beard, his everything filling my senses, blocking out everything but my pleasure.  His desire to pleasure me pushed me right over the edge.

When I was done he confessed he wasn’t able to cum.  I looked at him not with sadness, but with tenderness and he stroked my temple as I came back to earth beside him.

We kissed and said nice things and it felt exactly like I wish it always could.  I just don’t know if it’s possible.  A long term relationship isn’t the fresh horse it used to be.  It’s a horse that’s been ridden for a while; its tricks and triggers, its needs and plans are no mystery.  Sometimes it feels like the kind of work that’s tedious.

I wish I knew how to get the zip back into our lives without making head butting foreplay.   I’m too sensitive for that.  And I bruise easily.

I also wish this was as easy as riding a damn horse.   I had that one all figured out by 15.  At least I know how to climb back on.



*bullshit, awesome, hard, ridiculous, spectacular, exhausting, pleasant.